Reviews: Noded and Support Details

This week we have two reviews for the price of one. First we review the freelancing book ‘Noded’ and then take a look at a useful web application called ‘Support Details’.

Noded – The Untouchable

Hello, my name is James Callaghan. I’m an in-house web designer and developer / generalist working for Marshall Aerospace at the Airport in Cambridge and also work freelance.

Before I start, do you know what a Noded Team is?

The entire book, all eighty six pages of the book, attempt to explain what Noded is. During the first few chapters it attempts to cover definitions and examples, which I found a little hard to take in. It took me a few attempts to learn what Noded is, reading a few pages again and again.

With what Noded was vaguely drilled into my head, continuing on, the book focuses on freelancing with tips and advice on many maters such as setting up a business, planning things to managing time. This was of huge interest to me and the book became slightly easier to read.

Though out the book Andreas and Jaan describe their methods and tips on various subjects relating to Noded Working and Freelancing.

Noded Website

One section I did enjoy to read was “A space to work” that explains how important it is to find the right place to work. “As a web worker you can work from any place you fancy – a library, coffee shop, or park bench”.

Most of the time however, it’s nice to have a more personal place to work from.” I’m under the same opinion as Andreas and Jaan – “crappy office, crappy output”, “inspiring office, nice quality output”.

A subject that makes me very sore with my recent data loss that I can say I already adhere to is the tools for the game and why you should use the cloud over your hard drive. With explanations how applications force you to use their logic and structure and therefore are really tiresome and in the end the application is abandoned; instead suggests using cloud based web-apps that are far more flexible and forgiving, examples include: Email, Calendars, Get Things Done (GTD), Project Management, Synced Files, RSS Feeds.

On a more back office subject the book explains why working an 8 hour day is dead to tips on how to break away from the traditional meeting.

I take the same approach as the book, my ideas and creativity cannot materialise on command. They come at the most in-convenient times when I’m not working such as in the show, out on a ride on my bike or whilst out walking my dog. The book suggests using a tool and allowing people to contribute in advance of the meeting, following up with a simple 15 minute meeting to make a decision on the project or simply brief everyone involved.

An idea I am looking forward trialling in the real life! “The 8 hour workday is dead. We don’t believe that being

“being at work” for 8 hours accomplishes more than working for 4 hours, 2 days or 5 minutes. Work is about accomplishments, not measuring time. It is about being effective versus being efficient – doing your job faster and better versus simply doing more work”.

Not sure how to approach my manager on this one though, it is all about the hours here but way to think of it is:

“when you buy a music track that you really like, does it matter whether the artist spent two hours or two months writing the song? Probably not. Does a bowl of pasta taste better if the chef spent more time on it than if he spent the right amount of time on it? Probably not.”

In short, the book has really given me some great tips and methods as to how I should approach my freelance work but also provided me with some great ideas how to handle projects and work within the organisation I work in.

As I read through the book I found myself wanting to know more about something that had be written so instead of getting distracted whilst reading the book, I created a “list” of the pages with references and URLs I wanted to know more about.

The question I asked before reviewing the book was:

“do you know what a Noded Team is?”

If you answered at all, I suggest grabbing a copy of this book and truly discovering what Noded is all about. If you didn’t here is a dictionary definition included in the book.

“Noded Network, a Node Team. A group of individuals, often but not necessarily geographically far apart, that come together to form temporary or recurring project teams. Unlike ‘distributed teams’ Noded teams work for a wide range of clients and any member of a Noded team can take the lead to bring in work, manage work and choose their team members.”

Lastly I would like to say that I have really enjoyed reviewing this book and would like to take a moment to thank Paul and the team for producing such a great podcast but also to Ryan for his time and patience with me as it has taken me quite some time to produce this review. I’ve had to teach my brain how to read again, but also how to write a review that makes sense.

Support Details

My name is Nora Brown; I wanted to let you and Boagworld listeners know about a really handy site I’ve come across. I’m a freelance web designer who does a lot of sites for writers, artists, and small business owners – not necessarily the most tech-savvy folks. Sometimes they don’t even know that they’re using a browser, much less what specific version of IE they might be using.

So to help diagnose problems, I direct them to www.supportdetails.com. From this website, they can simply email you, and it sends you all the details of their browsing environment. You can even give them a link with your email address pre-filled in. An added bonus is that it includes their IP address, so you can create a filter in Google Analytics to exclude their own site visits from their stats.

Support Details website

Again, that’s supportdetails.com. I hope you find it useful.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jamescallaghan James Callaghan

    Hope everyone enjoys the review. Thanks Paul and the Team.

    James

  • Andy Wickes

    A big thumbs up from me on Support Details – makes the process of troubleshooting so much easier! A good spot and highly recommended for anyone who is in the business of bug testing.

  • http://www.norabrowndesign.com Nora Brown

    Thanks for publishing my audio clip! I hope people find it helpful.

    PS – Love the new theme song! Fresh without being a complete departure.

  • http://www.medula.cl/ Agustin Amenabar

    Fantastic book! Just bought it, so far I love it, the concept builds nicely on top of existing ideas about remote work and freelancing.

    Thanks for the review!

  • http://www.gradualism.co.uk Emily H

    James, well done on putting that review together. I have read the book and found it a really useful guide to working from home/freelancing/self employment. But I feel that the title is misleading, because it is not so much about the Noded way of working. I, like you, struggled to understand exactly what they meant by Noded. Or rather, I understood the premise, but didn’t feel that they fleshed out the Noded way enough. It left me with lots of questions about how to work as part of a Noded team, e.g How do you decide who does the project management for each job (if you do) so that the client isn’t bouncing around between the different team members?

    I’d strongly recommend the book for any home-working/freelancers but don’t expect it to teach you everything about how to work as a successful Noded team.

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